Church of the holy lawn

In 1994, Jeff Goldstein, who described himself as a “semi-active pagan-Jewish minister,” got into trouble with the city of Madison, Wisconsin because he refused to mow his lawn. He claimed that to do so would violate his religious beliefs since he worshipped plants. He said he actually prayed to his lawn, and that to mow it would be a “holocaust against the green creatures.”

Goldstein explained that he had formed his beliefs after reading The Secret Life of Plants by Peter Tomkins and Christopher Bird. I’ve read that book. If you like strange science, it’s a good read, full of plant-science weirdness. Though I didn't come away from it believing plants are sacred.

The court didn't buy Goldstein's argument, but I don't know if he ever ended up mowing the lawn.

Seems that Jeff died recently, in 2015. You can read his online obituary here.

Appleton Post-Crescent - Mar 13, 1994

Louisville Courier-Journal - Aug 30, 1994

Jeff Goldstein

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     Posted By: Alex - Fri Feb 23, 2018
     Category: Nature | Religion | 1990s

Gosh, Alex. You mean to tell me that you've never heard the little grass blades scream in terror when you run the lawnmower? I've heard them - but then again it may have been the six pack of beer consumed on a hot summer day ...
Posted by KDP on 02/23/18 at 08:00 AM
KDP -- I never developed that ability, though some in my family had it. My great-uncle was a professional photographer who developed a camera that, so he claimed, could photograph the "little people that live on plants."

His most famous photo, though, didn't involve plants. It was titled "Pittsburgh by Night." Became a best-selling jigsaw puzzle.
Posted by Alex on 02/23/18 at 08:34 AM
Jeff was a plantheist.
Posted by Phred22 on 02/23/18 at 01:20 PM
A town with a rich history. I lived there while doing contract work at one of the last remnants of Westinghouse. I arrived from the southern approach through the tunnel and coming out over the river was like being shot out of a cannon with the "Point" in full view. That photo reminds me of that.
Posted by KDP on 02/23/18 at 01:35 PM
The Secret Life of Plants. tl;dr version. Tompkins attached the leads of a lie detector to their leaves and got signals. Best part, the plants indicated fear when he thought about harming them.
Posted by eddi on 02/23/18 at 10:27 PM
That should do for veganism...
Posted by Richard Bos on 02/24/18 at 04:55 AM
My Flying Spaghetti Monster can lick your plants every time.
Posted by Virtual on 02/24/18 at 11:53 AM
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